The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • DevOps, Automation, Security and Compliance

    March 21, 2017, Andrew Barratt, Managing Principal - Application Security, Coalfire

    Phew, the title of this post alone sounds like it could be quite a lot to deal with!

    So what is DevOps? DevOps is simply the blending of infrastructure operations processes and software development to enable faster changes to business applications/technology. These processes share a lot of ideology with the Agile & Lean camps but are more fundamentally trying to bridge the traditional divide between the development world and the IT operations/Service management teams.

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  • Social Engineering- Beyond the Baseline

    December 15, 2014, Brandon Edmunds, Senior Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    Coalfire Labs does a lot of Social Engineering testing. Traditional Social Engineering testing involves a mundane process of taking a sample of a population and then attacking those “targets” with some pretext calls or a phishing email in order to obtain credentials. Metrics are recorded and then reported back in some form of a deliverable, usually a report. As an example, in a standard Social Engineering engagement, we had a Pretext Calling campaign that included a target selection of 10 users. We made 10 phone calls and talked three of the targeted people out of their passwords.

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  • A billion reasons to enhance your penetration testing

    August 20, 2014, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    There are so many questions regarding those leaked Russian passwords. Is this for real? What sites are on that list? How can you tell if your site’s users are in the “Russian Billion”? Isn’t this just a matter of changing user passwords? Bottom line:  As a company with websites that have user accounts, what should you do?

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  • It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark

    April 01, 2014, Craig Billado, Forensic Analyst, Coalfire Labs

    This month movie-goers around the world will flock (possibly two-by-two) to see Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’—a silver-screen adaptation of the timeless biblical story, starring Russell Crow and Jennifer Connelly .  Whether one interprets the flood narrative literally or figuratively, this fact remains:  the time to prepare for disaster is not after the fact but beforehand. This is true whether the calamity is divine or human in origin.

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  • Whether you are a large or small business, beware of these 5 common security problems

    March 11, 2013, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Every January, the trade press if full of new year’s resolution-like advice… things to do in the coming year, even Coalfire made a few predictions for 2013. I work at Coalfire Labs, and since our business is IT security and testing, we want to share some advice on how to avoid your systems and accounts from being breached.  While larger companies may feel they can skip some of these steps, and still remain safe, TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls learned the hard way the damages a breach can cause.  Information from up to tens of millions of credit and debit cards was stolen costing TJX millions of dollars to get the problem under control.  With this in mind, here is a list of five issues companies are prone to make, and ways to avoid negative ramifications.

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